with a line from Gwendolyn Brooks
So, there’s a baby?
Yes, there’s a baby—or the image
of the baby, mistaken for the baby
itself. Itself: the body toddled
to the mirror, the body wavering
over the tender soles, the armature
of ambulation nascent as the image
of the body emerging from the glass
tunnel: whose hand, whose belly,
whose dimpled knees: itself.
But this is a lie: the image
is not but is of.
Still, mark how the baby moves:
a marionette, a tentacle mind,
a rippling of sand, limestone, and ash,
heat and silver.
Don’t we say, your daddy,
wasn’t a glassmaker?
We say nothing of your mama, though,
her face close to the baby,
almost a baby herself.
Is a mother whoever plucks,
like a star of morning,
the baby’s name from the sky?
The image fastened to the sound:
cuirass and gauntlet:
tasset and greave:
a cloak, a basket of bread, of wine.
Does the story begin here
and, in beginning, also end,
the baby an it, the mother a girl
one a scaffold for the other?
The story begins with an emergency,
the mama and baby trapped
in the mirror when the glass
breaks, then, suddenly,
they’re free with—
A ghastly freedom?
Not ghastly, no,
but not golden either.